Author Archives: Jamie

Coworking highlighted at April Luncheon

At their monthly luncheon, Chamber members and their guests enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Tomato Pie Pizza and learned about the ins and outs of coworking and the benefits of this relatively new phenomenon to our community and to our economy.
Although you are hearing more about coworking, it is still a relatively new concept in Morgan County, so we thought it would be a good idea to learn more about how it works and why it is important for our community to embrace coworking.  Martinsville is fortunate to have two coworking spaces up and running now:
  • The Source – downtown on the square, owned and operated by Daniel Elliott
  • Launch Martinsville – located in The Main Connection (former school admin building), partnership of Martinsville Chamber and Doug & Paula Molin of Molin Properties
Our presenters were familiar faces to us as they participated in our entrepreneurship panel last year.  Thank you to Jason Whitney, Program Manager for Launch Indiana at Launch Fishers, & Tyler Henke, Cofounder of Cowork Btown for giving so generously of their time to join us.
A special shout-out to our door prize donors: Berries & Ivy, Indiana Family Chiropractic Center, Morgan County Farmers’ Market, Showtime Cinema – Mooresville, The Sterling Butterfly, Tomato Pie Pizza Joint and Waldon IT Solutions.

Tyler Henke (left) – Co Founder of Cowork Btown Jason Whitney (right) – Program Manager for Launch Indiana at Launch Fishers

See photos…


The countdown to National Small Business Week (NSBW) is on; webinars announced

NSBW (April 30th – May 6th) is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. We’re pleased to announce this year’s webinars on a variety of business topics.  

The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses Presented by Visa

May 2, 2017 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Register here

5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions Presented by YP

May 3, 2017 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Register here

Grow Your Business Online Presented by Google
May 3, 2017
4:00-5:00 pm ET

Register here

The Future of Small Business Innovation Presented by Salesforce

May 4, 2017
2:30-3:30 pm ET

Register here

How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less Presented by Constant Contact

May 4, 2017 | 3:30-4:30 pm ET

Register here

Find the Hidden Money in America Presented by Chase

May 4, 2017 | 5:00-6:00 pm ET

Register here


Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington seeking input on potential Martinsville classes

In partnership with The Main Connection and the Martinsville Chamber, Ivy Tech is seeking your input on what classes you would like to see offered here in Martinsville.  Please take a few minutes and answer this brief survey and you will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card to JK’s @ The Main Coffee Bar!  Feel free to share the link with your family, friends and colleagues who reside in Morgan County.

Thank you!


The Main Connection celebrates grand opening with more than 225 in attendance

Thank you to the more than 200 people who came out to help all of us at The Main Connection celebrate our grand opening on Tuesday.  It was wonderful to see the synergy in the room as more and more folks came in to check out the transformation of this iconic school admin building to a dynamic business center for the whole community.  The Main Connection, redeveloped by Doug and Paula Molin of Molin Properties, is the new home to local businesses Agresta, Storms & O’Leary, Boys & Collins’ Financial Group, and Integrity Mortgage, along with the Martinsville Chamber and Visit Morgan County, the countywide tourism office.

The Chamber has also partnered with the Molins to offer cowork space, located in the center of the building.  A cowork space is a membership-based workspace used by a diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, start-ups and professionals working independently, but sharing equipment, ideas, and knowledge.  The goal of coworking is to create a community of bright, creative people, setting the stage for “serendipitous collisions” a term used often by John Wechsler, founder of Launch Fishers.

Vanessa & Tracy Scott enjoy coffee from JK’s @ The Main

JK’s @ The Main Coffee Bar, a satellite location of JK’s Cheescake and Coffee, also recently opened its doors inside The Main Connection and currently offers great coffees, teas, smoothies and other drinks, as well as assorted baked goods, between the hours of 8:00 am and 1:00 pm.  Hours will be expanded as demand warrants.

The conference room at The Main Connection has been named the Ruth Rusie Room, in honor of long time resident and dedicated volunteer, Ruth Rusie.









Learn more about The Main Connection and Launch Martinsville

View photos of grand opening

Watch for video to be added soon!

Martinsville Chamber proud partner in CoderDojo – coding club for middle schoolers

The Martinsville Chamber is a proud partner, with MSD of Martinsville, TechPoint Foundation for Youth and Eleven Fifty Academy, bringing #CoderDojo to Martinsville! #EFAImpact #GoCodeMartinsville. What a great time our middle schoolers had with “Spheros” at our January session!

  • CoderDojo at the CEC in Martinsville
  • Every 1st Tuesday of the month from 6-8 p.m.
  • Middle school age (students under 13 should bring an adult)
  • Bring your own laptop/tablet or register to borrow one
  • Spots are limited. So, register ASAP!

CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs where students can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment. There is a focus on peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning. CoderDojo Clubs aim to help young people realize that they can build a positive future through coding and community.

More photos from January session

Learn more:


Posted by Sharon Shuler Goodin on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

So…kids from MSD of Martinsville are having a blast with Sphero during CoderDojo Indiana.

Posted by Sharon Shuler Goodin on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Posted by Sharon Shuler Goodin on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

WorkOne seeking companies to serve as work experience/internship sites

What are the goals of a WEX?

Work Experience/Internship is a paid (or non-paid) WorkOne activity designed to enable youth to gain work maturity, occupational skills and exposure to the working world.  The work experience provides youth with opportunities for career exploration and skill development focused on appropriate work habits and work ethics.  Participation in a work experience helps youth acquire the personal attributes, knowledge and skills needed to obtain a job and advance in employment.

Benefits to the youth include but are not limited to:  exposure and exploration into different careers or industries, developing work readiness skills, motivation to stay in school and pursue a career or further training after completion of high school, develop a network of professional contracts and develop a working relationship with a mentor.

How does an employer become a WEX site?

Employers support youth by providing worksites for Work Experience/Internships.  The selection of a worksite for a paid and/or unpaid work experience is determined by the needs of the participant and the employer.  The employer creates a job description for the work experience position which is used as the training outline and provides work-related activities for the participant(s) to develop basic work habits, learn occupational skills and gain usable experience to promote future employment.

Eligible youth may be placed with a local employer for up to 8 weeks of employment and may work a maximum of 40 hours per week.  Youth are paid bi-weekly by JobSource.  The pay rate is the starting pay for a regular employee in a similar position at the worksite.  The typical earnings for a youth in a summer work experience is $3200.00

The employer tracks and certifies hours worked by the participant and evaluates the participant’s job performance as prescribed by the WorkOne youth program.  The employer observes and complies with applicable safety and health standards and observes Worker Compensation and Youth Labor Laws of Indiana and the Federal Government.  The employer also adjusts the job to other working conditions as stated in the worksite agreement.  Work experience activities may not reduce a current employee’s work hours, displace current employers or create a lay-off of current employees, impair existing contract or collective bargaining agreements, and/or infringe upon the promotional opportunities of current employees.

Can a non-profit, government or faith-based employer participate?

Yes! These employers can offer WEX opportunities in business-related areas including office work and event coordination, retail work, housekeeping or even dishwashing.  Participants cannot be asked to campaign for a political office or to promote a particular religious belief. For WorkOne sites, candidates cannot have access to confidential client information including Social Security numbers/driver’s license numbers or confidential case files.

For more information about serving as a Work Experience/internship worksite, please contact me.

Jo DuMontelle  –    765.278.3067

JAG Coordinator 

Successful WEX programs have:

  • A job description –A job description should include both tasks as well as how the participant will be evaluated. Your Specialist or WIOA/JAG staff can assist in developing this.
  • An employer interview –A participant should meet with the employer prior to the offer being made. Employers are never required to hire a WEX candidate.
  • An orientation to the job – this should include introductions to staff, training in safety and emergency procedures, as well as a conversation regarding expectations.
  • Training – Participants should receive minimal training on equipment and on major tasks that are expected to be performed during the WEX.
  • On-site Supervision – Youth require a single supervisor who directly supervises the participant’s schedule, oversees training, evaluates performance, and is available to answer questions.
  • Timely submission of documents – Participants are required to submit a timesheet documenting the hours worked. It is crucial that timesheets as well as evaluations are submitted by deadline so that participants can be paid.

WIOA/JAG staff foster a successful experience by providing 

  • Pre and post Career Readiness assessments
  • Regular follow-up and monthly site visits

I-69 Section 6 Draft Environmental Document Published for Public Comment Exhaustive study recommends locations for highway, exits and local access


INDIANAPOLIS (M) – The final leg of Interstate 69 from Evansville to Indianapolis is one step closer to reality with the release of its Tier 2 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In addition to increasing economic activity in the corridor, exhaustive studies and public input conclude that I-69 Section 6 will improve safety and travel times between Martinsville and Indianapolis.

The Draft EIS recommends a preferred route and footprint for the 26 miles of new and upgraded highway, including the location and types of 10 exits, 16 overpasses or underpasses and new local access roads. The draft document estimates the maximum potential impact that I-69 Section 6 construction could have on homes, businesses and natural resources, and identifies mitigation measures.

“This is an important milestone for an important project, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without the significant amount of public input we received from hundreds of citizens, elected officials and civic organizations along the corridor,” said Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness. “This draft study moves us closer to what’s been talked about for so, so long – finishing I-69 and having a free flow of traffic from Evansville to Indianapolis.”

INDOT will refine the preferred alternative based on public and agency input, and expects the Federal Highway Administration will issue a joint Final EIS and Record of Decision for Section 6 in the first quarter of 2018. The Final EIS will identify refinements to the preferred route based on public comments and agency review. The Record of Decision is the federal decision that authorizes INDOT to proceed with design and construction of the project.

Public review and comment

The complete Draft EIS, more than 1,500 pages, is available for public review online at The public may submit written comments on the document and its recommendations through May 8 via the comment form at or by mail to the I-69 Section 6 project office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151.

In addition, INDOT will host two public meetings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Perry Meridian High School, 401 W. Meridian School Rd. in Indianapolis, on Thursday, April 6 and Martinsville High School, 1360 E. Gray St. in Martinsville, on Monday, April 10. Each meeting will begin with an open house followed by a formal presentation and public-comment period in the school auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees who do not want to provide formal public testimony may return or mail a comment form available at the public hearings or provide verbal comments to a court reporter.

With advance notice, special accommodations will be made for individuals needing auxiliary aids or services of interpreters, signers, readers, or large print. Anyone with such needs should contact Rickie Clark with INDOT’s Office of Public Involvement at 317-232-6601 or

Paper copies for review

Beginning March 24, 2017, paper copies of the Draft EIS will be available at the I-69 Section 5 and I-69 Section 6 Project Offices, INDOT’s Central, Greenfield and Seymour District Offices and at the following public libraries: • Indianapolis Public Library o Central Branch: 40 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis o Southport Branch: 2630 E. Stop 11 Rd., Indianapolis o Decatur Branch: 5301 Kentucky Ave., Indianapolis • Johnson County Public Library, White River Branch: 1664 Library Blvd., Greenwood • Mooresville Public Library: 220 W. Harrison St., Mooresville • Morgan County Public Library o Waverly Branch: 9410 IN-144, Martinsville o Martinsville Branch: 110 S. Jefferson St., Martinsville • Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library: 1120 Stafford Rd., Plainfield • Monroe County Public Library: 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington

Is original Medicare enough medical coverage for a senior?

by Steve Keefe, President of Medicare Your Way LLC

You’re approaching your initial election period (IEP) for Medicare which is normally when you are close to turning age 65. You could already be on Original Medicare, and the main question most want to know; “is Original Medicare sufficient medical coverage”? Answer – Probably not. There are various Medicare supplements available and also Medicare Advantage, but are they really necessary? In most cases, yes…..

Most Don’t Rely on just Original Medicare 

Most Medicare Beneficiaries don’t think Original Medicare is comprehensive enough without supplemental coverage. In fact only 14% of all Medicare eligible beneficiaries rely on just Original Medicare, without any additional public or private coverage. If you have significant financial resources and you are willing to risk spending a large amount upon an unforeseen illness, you could rely on just Original Medicare. Your biggest financial risk is no cap on how much you have to pay for out of pocket expenses. It also doesn’t cover prescription drugs cost. Those are covered under Part D of Medicare.

Although most hospitalizations last less than one week, if you were hospitalized like my mother was in 2010 for 131 days, you would be responsible under Part A (Hospital Insurance) of Medicare during the first 60 days for only $1,316. However, days 61-90 would cost you $9,870 and days 91-131 would cost you $26,320 totaling $37,506 for a 131 day hospital stay. Not everyone has money earmarked for these exorbitant amounts of medical bills.

Your biggest risk of only having Original Medicare is with Part B. You only have a $183 deductible in 2017, however you are responsible for 20% of all remaining costs. I just had a customer compile a $998,000 bill of which you would be responsible for $199,600. Again we not only don’t plan on serious illnesses but most don’t have those sums of money set aside for medical bills.

If you never get seriously ill and only need coverage for the occasional doctor office visit then you would be fine with just Original Medicare. Who has a crystal ball to predict their future medical or lack of medical issues? If you’re feeling lucky then this would be a good strategy, otherwise I would recommend either a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Policy to help reduce your out of pocket claim risk.

There are affordable plans available for Secondary Coverage

Medicare Supplements run from $50-$130 per month depending on which plan you would choose and there are Medicare Advantage Plans from zero premium up to $79 per month. You can get a Part D prescription drug plan for as little as $15 in 2017. I would encourage you to research a trusted independent advisor that specializes in helping seniors with Medicare. You may contact Steve Keefe, President of Medicare Your Way, LLC for help as well @ 317-372-3070. If you would like more information call Steve or you may view the attached  2 minute video link, which talks about Original Medicare and supplemental coverage options.

Good Luck!

Things to keep in mind this tax season by Melissa Schiff, CPA

The IRS is demanding ever increasing organization and improved record keeping from business owners. In our ongoing effort to help you stay compliant we would ask you take a moment to review the issues below and make sure your operations are in order.

Updated forms: Sales Tax Exemptions, W-4’s, W-9’s You should have new versions of each of these forms each year. The form should be acquired at the time of the 1st transaction of the year.

Substantiation of Expenses You will have support to show the IRS if your tax return is ever examined. You can’t deduct amounts that you approximate or estimate. You should keep adequate records to prove your expenses or have sufficient evidence that will support your expenses. You must generally prepare a written record for it to be considered adequate. You should keep the proof you need in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. You should also keep documentary evidence that, together with your record, will support each element of an expense.

2016 Business Client advice sheet – record keeping

LIFEDesigns partners with Home Bank

LIFEDesigns has been accepted into the 2017 CSH Supportive Housing Institute where Susan Rinne, CEO, will serve as Team Leader. Partners for the project include the South Central Community Action Program; Valenti Real Estate Services, Inc.; Milestone Ventures, Inc.; and Home Bank. The purpose of the Institute is to better understand the needs of the community and develop affordable, accessible housing to support those most vulnerable. Through this process the team will design a multi-family housing project in Martinsville, including supportive services, to address those needs and identify private, state and federal funding sources.  The group hopes to be able to initiate the project in late 2017 with completion in 2018.

Frank Peacock, Director of Operations and Interim Executive Director, will represent SCCAP at the Institute along with Doug Wilson, Director of Communications and Development. The South Central Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization based in Bloomington that has served low-income people for more than 50 years. SCCAP is an experienced not-for-profit affordable housing developer. Their mission is to provide opportunities for low income citizens to move toward personal and economic independence.

Susan Rinne, Chief Executive Officer of LIFEDesigns, has previously developed and supervised housing and in-home services for people with disabilities in a multi-county area. LIFEDesigns is also an experienced not-for-profit affordable housing developer, and they are certified by the City of Bloomington as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO).

Also participating in the Institute is Cindy Fleetwood, Director of Executive Administration at LIFEDesigns. Cindy has managed LIFEDesigns’ affordable housing program for over seven years.  She has earned the CAPS Designation (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist); the SCS Certification (Site Compliance Specialist) and received additional training in fair housing and tax credits.

Lisa Arnold, Senior Vice President/Chief Operations Officer of Home Bank in Martinsville, Indiana, will also be joining our team. Home Bank is a community banking institution serving South Central Indiana with offices in Morgan, Johnson, and Hendricks County. They are a mutual institution, founded in 1890, which means that they do not have shareholders but are instead owned by their depositors. With this, they have a high level of capital for a financial institution their size. In 2012, their Board of Directors initiated a gifting program where 10% of their net earnings are donated to non-profits addressing needs in the communities they serve.

Valenti Real Estate Services, Inc. is experienced in management of affordable and supportive housing and has worked closely with LIFEDesigns for almost seven years.

Milestone Ventures, Inc. has successfully worked as co-developer with LIFEDesigns for over six years. The Co-developer is credited as the premier partner for non-profit organizations with processes suited to their needs. They specialize in expanding and enhancing the capacity of non-profits to undertake complex affordable housing developments, having developed in both rural and urban communities. 

SCCAP’s mission is to provide opportunities for low-income individuals and families to achieve personal and economic independence.

LIFEDesigns partners with people of all ages and abilities to lead meaningful and active lives. This is accomplished through community living services, general support services and assistive technology, a community-based education program, affordable housing, and supported employment services. LIFEDesigns believes everyone deserves a home, a job, and access to the community they live in.


To learn more about LIFEDesigns and how we help people achieve their goals, or to find out how you can be involved, visit or call (800) 875–9615.